Hope, Dedication, and Support

August 6, 2016

A mother seeks help for her autistic son

Photo above is of a model used for illustrative purposes only.

The California Health Care Foundation (2013) reports that 1 in 13 youth suffer from a mental illness that limits participation in daily activities. Behind each of these youth are parents and families who struggle to provide their children with the best possible tools they need to succeed. Many times however, their child’s behaviors become unmanageable at home.

Annie Darrow, a Stanford graduate and mother of two, is one such mother who tried for years to cope with her son Andrew’s mental and behavioral health disorders (including bipolar, psychotic, and autism spectrum) before finally seeking the help she and her family needed. After many years of suffering from mental health issues, a stressful family environment, and when other help alternatives within the education and mental health system failed, Andrew had a complete breakdown and was admitted to a 24/7 pediatric lockdown facility for five months. It was at this point that Annie was able to recognize that her son’s issue was larger than what she could manage. Annie researched treatment options and advocated placement at Edgewood where she received comfort and support from Edgewood’s staff.

“When we arrived (at Edgewood), our family was embraced immediately by Dr. Robin Randall, the medical director, who told me that I am a good mother, and that our child and our family would not fail again in the mental health system. He assured us that he and his team would stabilize Andrew and get him functioning in a safe manner.”

Ten months into treatment, Andrew’s mental health condition began to improve. Annie says that in her opinion, “Andrew is a shining example of a child and family turned around by the talent, dedication, training and execution of the top-notch mental health care provided at Edgewood.”

Inspired by her own challenges as a parent, today, 10 years later, Annie assists other parents like her in managing the complex journey of raising and educating youth with mental health challenges, particularly autism. She started Darrow Autism Advocates – an advocacy, support, and referral resource dedicated to those navigating complex special education issues and the mental health system.

Andrew’s journey is an inspiration for all who struggle with mental health disorders. We thank Annie for sharing her story of resilience and courage that allowed her to help her son and give back to others with similar needs. 


To learn more about Edgewood’s services, please contact our Intake Department at 844.EDGE411 (334.3411) or Edgewood.org/help.

You can help Edgewood children and their families with a one time gift, or, set up a recurring gift to provide ongoing help all year round!


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